ED­I­TOR’S PICK

1965 FORD ZODIAC

New Zealand Classic Car - - CONTENTS -

Ford in­tro­duced the MKIII Ze­phyr and Zodiac in 1962, but, un­like the MKI And MKII ranges, there was no Con­sul model. In­stead, the smaller-en­gined four-cylin­der car was called the ‘Ze­phyr Four’. The Zodiac was of­fered as the topof-the-range model and built on the strengths of the pre­vi­ous big Bri­tish Fords. The Ze­phyr Six / Zodiac fea­tured the same 2553cc en­gine as its 1956– 62 pre­de­ces­sor, but the higher com­pres­sion ra­tio gave an ex­tra 15kw, and the chas­sis de­sign was also based on that of the MKII but with stronger con­struc­tion. The MKIII Zodiac fea­tured ex­tra glass in the rear quar­ters, a full­width grille with four head­lamps, and a more lux­u­ri­ous in­te­rior. Pro­duc­tion of all mod­els ended in 1966.

The Ze­phyr Six be­came well­known to many with its reg­u­lar ap­pear­ance in the pop­u­lar 1960s tele­vi­sion se­ries Z Cars. In Jan­uary 1966, the square­cut MKIV Ze­phyr and Zodiac re­placed the MKIII cars.

Hav­ing had just seven own­ers since new, this 1965 Ford Zodiac is, with­out doubt, one of the ti­di­est around, boast­ing an orig­i­nal 186,650km on the clock. Re­li­a­bil­ity is fur­ther en­hanced with a fully re­built en­gine, com­pleted just 11,500km ago. In ad­di­tion, a new clutch and pres­sure plate have been in­stalled; the front and rear brakes have re­cently re­ceived a com­plete over­haul; and the wheel bear­ings, front ball-joints, and seals have also been re­cently re­placed.

The cur­rent owner has had the plea­sure of en­joy­ing this car for seven years but has de­cided that it’s time to buy a camper van and travel around the coun­try.

Half a cen­tury on, these MKIII Fords are now of­ten over­looked, yet they make more sense as a clas­sic to covet than they ever did. They’re spa­cious, com­fort­able, good to drive, and easy to main­tain.

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